person scratching emotional support cat under chin

Emotional support animals can do wonders for people with various needs. Research has shown that emotional supports animals can help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder as well as feelings of loneliness. There are a variety of ESAs choose from – dogs, cats, birds, lizards, and guinea pigs can all be helpful for owners that need a little extra emotional support because of emotional or mental health conditions.

Cats, in particular, can be beneficial because they can also help to reduce feelings of stress and lower blood pressure. An emotional support cat is a great choice for people who don’t like to leave their homes too often, such as introverts, people who have agoraphobia or social anxiety, or people who are stuck at home during the ongoing pandemic. Since cats don’t require any outdoor activity, they can be taken care of properly within your home, all while providing you with that extra level of emotional support.

What do emotional support cats do?

Cats, by nature, are calm, intelligent, and affectionate to those they love. Having a calm and loving presence in the home can help people with varying degrees of mental illness feel less alone and more at peace. Some research has shown that being around an emotional support cat can also help with chronic pain conditions. Cats are also easy to look after, making them great for people who may have less capacity to provide care for someone other than themselves.

One of the great things about ESA cats is that they are protected under the Fair Housing Act, which means that even pet-free dwellings will accommodate an emotional support cat. This can be helpful for people who have limited options when it comes to finding a suitable place to live.

ragdoll cat ESA
Image by MIKHAIL VASILYEV on Unsplash: Are cats good for introverts?

Which cats are best for emotional support?

There is a plethora of different breeds of cats that you can choose from when you’re looking for a regular pet. When it comes to getting a cat as an emotional support animal, though, some breeds may suit the role better than others. Below are a few specific types of cats that will provide the emotional support you need in your home.

Ragdoll

Ragdoll cats are passive and enjoy long petting sessions and being held by their owners. They are called ragdolls because of their nature – if they are comfortable enough, they will go limp as a ragdoll! Unlike some other breeds, ragdoll cats tend to go looking for human contact and are so affectionate that they are often compared to dogs.

American Bobtail

For people looking for a cat that loves to play, the American Bobtail is a great choice. These cats are lively, playful, and cuddly. This makes them the perfect companion for someone who wants both affection and excitement from their ESA.

Manx

The Manx cat has a big personality and loves to play and interact with its owner. They typically play favorites, and once they choose their best friend in the house, they will be loyal and affectionate, vying for that person’s attention.

Persian

Persian cats are often considered to be one of the most regal breeds of the feline family. They offer a gentle demeanor, which is great for people looking for an ESA to calm them down during times of stress or anxiety.

Russian Blue

The Russian Blue cat is a beauty to look at, but also brings manners and attentiveness to the table. For those who prefer to stay at home and don’t have many visitors, these types of cats are a great choice.

korat esa cat
Image by Paul Bryan on Unsplash: Korats are great ESAs for people who don’t like to leave the house.

Maine Coon

The Maine Coon is one of the largest breeds of cats, but they are also beautiful and intelligent. If you’re looking for a cat you can train, the Maine Coon is a great choice because of their aptitude for learning. They have luxurious long fur and love attention, so they are great for a person looking for cuddles out of their ESA.

Korats

Korats like to keep to themselves outside of their one chosen owner, which means they would be great for people who also like to go it alone.

These are just a few of the best options out there; many cats are ideal indoor cats and are great for people who don’t like to leave their houses often. However, there are also some breeds of cats that you may want to avoid because of their aloof nature and dislike of affection. These include Savannah cats, American Wirehairs, and Bengals.

How do I make my cat an emotional support animal?

If you already own a beloved pet cat, you can have it certified as an emotional support animal. The process can be quite simple. First, you will have to meet with your mental health professional and let them know that you want to make your cat an ESA. Your doctor will have to write you an ESA letter that will register your pet, which you can then use to inform your landlord or any other parties that may need to know that you have an ESA. Cats, like all other emotional support animals, are protected under certain laws that allow you to bring them with you or live with them where you otherwise might not be able to.

Having an emotional support cat is a great way to help combat mental illness and chronic pain conditions, as well as alleviate stress. If you’re a homebody, cats are perfect because they require so little when it comes to keeping them healthy, entertained, and content.

Featured image by Yerlin Matu on Unsplash